Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Holiness Code: What is yours?: Atid Learning Center Weekly Update 4/26/18

Dear Families,

Bonjour, I have returned from France and look forward to seeing you this weekend!

FRIDAY: Please arrive and be seated in the sanctuary by 5:55 pm.  The service will be beginning promptly at 6 pm.


SUNDAY*: Please arrive at 9:00 am.  Registration will be in the TI parking lot.  You and your family will be directed to the park entrance on Baltimore Road where you will receive gloves and trash bags.  Remember to wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes.

*If you are crossing Rockville Pike traffic will be impacted: https://www.pikespeek10k.org/

Torah Talk:

Click here! (includes a video about the parsha!) 

This week we read two Torah portions, Aharei Mot and Kedoshim. In Aharei Mot, we read about the complicated ancient ritual of the High Priest praying for forgiveness for the entire Israelite people on Yom Kippur every year. This ritual includes details about special clothing the High Priest must wear and the specific animals he must sacrifice. While the Israelites fast and apologize for the things they did wrong, the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies, the most sacred place on Earth, to ask God for forgiveness. 

In the second portion, Parshat Kedoshim, we read the rules for being a holy people. God commands us to be holy because God is holy. But what does it mean to be holy? If someone were to tell you to be holy, you might assume that you would have to spend your life only doing “religious” things. Surprisingly, the Torah tells us that being holy is mostly about how we treat other people and not how we treat God. 

Sure, there are some commandments in this portion which tell us how to interact with God. We should respect God’s name and not use in inappropriately. We should not create or worship idols or false gods. We should observe shabbat and the laws for proper sacrifices. BUT the majority of the commandments listed in this portion are all about how we treat other human beings. 

In this parsha, we are told that we shouldn’t steal or lie. We shouldn’t insult people with disabilities or make it harder for them to navigate the world. We shouldn’t take advantage of the vulnerable or show favor to the powerful. We should treat our workers fairly and make sure to provide for the poor. Above all we should love our neighbor as ourselves. This is how we become a holy people by living with this Holiness Code. 

Holiness does not mean living on a mountain far from of society. Holiness means creating a community that treasures the ethical treatment of others just as much, if not more, than the treatment of God. We are all created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, and by respecting each other, we show our dedication to God. 

Create your own family Holiness Code. Discuss the values you think are essential to making your home a holy place. Write and share with us at least 5 commandments for your code, but feel free to create more!  

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, April 29- Good Deed’s Day
  • Saturday, May 5– Junior Congregation (grades 3-6) 10:30 am
  • Saturday, May 5 – Kehilat Kids (grades K-2) 11:00 am
  • Sunday, May 20 – Shavuot Family Experience 9:00-11:30 am
  • Wednesday, May 23 – Last Wednesday class

Community Announcements: 

Summer Fun for Everyone!

Ready for the first independent overnight experience for your child? Yotair, Capital Camps’ Rookie Camp (August 14-17) packs an entire summer of overnight fun into four awesome days, leading right into Summer Family Camp! Learn more at 301-468-2267 or on an upcoming tour:  7/1, 7,18, 7/15, 7/29, and 8/5. Also: Extend your summer at Capital Camps with Bubbie-Zadie Family Camp (June 1-3) and/or Summer Family Camp (August 17-19)! All the best parts of summer camp shared with family – swimming, ropes course, sports, dance, music, and the Capital Camps Shabbat experience. Visit capitalcamps.org for more information or to RSVP for a tour.

Summer Fun at Capital Camps

Don’t miss out on summer fun for children and/or the whole family at Capital Camps! Experience our challenge course, lake and aquatics center, sports fields, arts offerings, and more with traditional 2, 3 and 4 week sessions and during Family Camp (August 17-19). New camper grants are available! Learn more at 301-468-2267 or on an upcoming tours: 3/25, 4/15, 4/22. Visit capitalcamps.org for more information or to RSVP for a tour.

Shabbat shalom,

Luisa Moss
Director of Education and Youth Programming